A message from Solar Energy International (SEI) Executive Director Kathryn Swartz:
On Monday, January 22, the Trump Administration made a deciding call on the anticipated solar trade case, announcing a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and modules, to taper off by five percent over four years.
While we are disappointed in this decision, this is not doom and gloom. Solar energy will continue to thrive because of public support, the relatively small increase that this tariff will actually cost, the resilience of solar companies who have succeeded in spite of policy, and a rapidly growing international market. The disruptive “solar cat” is out of the bag and at this point, there’s no putting it back in! I invite you to read my full letter on this topic at www.solarenergy.org.
Solar Service Projects in the Himalaya, in memory of SEI Instructor Mike Sullivan
SEI is pleased to share San Juan Community College’s Solar Project in the Himalaya, from June 16-29 in the Ladakh region of northern India. The class will be limited to 12 people. Not only will participants be installing a PV system at a remote SECMOL school, but they will also be living on the campus with incredible opportunities to interact with the high school-aged students, helping them refine their English while sharing our cultures. The school is incredibly diverse, bringing together Tibetan Buddhists, Sunni and Shia Muslims, and Hindus.
A message from SEI Executive Director Kathy Swartz: Thank you!
To Our Supporters, Friends, and Alumni,
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We are so pleased to announce that we reached our goal of raising $120,000 to build our first international training facility in Costa Rica! We couldn’t have done it without you!
The solar training facility in Costa Rica will serve people within the region, including all of Latin America and the Caribbean. The facility will be located in Uxaraccí, Costa Rica, which is approximately one hour from San Jose. We are currently finalizing the training system design and procuring equipment. We will break ground in the next month and will offer our first hands-on lab class from April 23-27!
SEI Professional Services (SEIPS) Case Studies & Tech Tips
Tech Tip: Workspace Clearances for Solar PV Systems
Whether drafting an equipment layout for an engineered planset, physically mounting equipment, or inspecting and commissioning a solar PV system, it’s important to keep clearances in mind. Of course the first place to start is with National Electrical Code required workspace clearances, found in NEC Section 110.26 and Table 110.26(A)(1). The requirements in these sections were expanded in the last NEC code cycle to apply up to 1000V, whereas in the 2014 NEC requirements for over 600 volts were in a separate Section, 110.30 and Table 110.34 (which is now where requirements for 1500Vdc systems can be found).
Case Study: Bedford Solar – 3MW Solar PV with Single-axis Tracking in Bedford, Virginia
The undulating terrain of this 58-acre parcel with a project area of 16.2 acres made this a challenging site for a single-axis tracker, however our engineering team worked closely with the racking manufacturer and civil engineer to optimize the site for installation and system performance.
Layout takes advantage of the slight southern facing slope of the parcel, while varied east to west spacing and backtracking reduces inter-row shading on the rolling terrain.
The site is surrounded on all sides by towering eighty foot pine trees. We used 3D modeling to capture the shadows cast upon the uneven terrain to ideally place the system within the site.
SEI announces training partnership for Middle East Electricity Conference
SEI is excited to once again be an official training partner for the Middle East Electricity conference and exhibition on March 6-8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre! SEI will be leading technical trainings covering topics such as installation of grid-connected PV systems and design considerations for PV with energy storage.
Do you want to spend the summer working at our scenic Paonia, Colorado campus, and earn three of SEI’s most popular professional certificates: the Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, and Solar Business and Technical Sales Certificate? Then the summer residency program is for you!
SEI opens its first international Solar Training Center in Costa Rica, enroll today!
As we kick off 2018 and get to work on our New Year’s Resolutions, Solar Energy International (SEI) will be accomplishing one of its biggest projects this year: the inauguration of its first international Solar Training Center in Costa Rica. This new training facility will accelerate and expand access to world-class solar training to Spanish speakers throughout Latin America, in line with SEI’s vision of a world powered by renewable energy.
Solar Energy International (SEI) has teamed up with GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) to host the annual Solar Career Expo! Join us on March 14 at the Aurora Hyatt Regency Hotel, co-located with COSEIA’s Solar Power Mountain West, to meet employers of the solar industry and explore career pathways in solar.
We welcome anyone who is actively looking for a job, is interested in talking to prospective employers, or is just getting started in the industry to attend. Leading Colorado-based solar companies including Namaste Solar, EcoMark Solar, Clean Energy Collective and more will be in attendance!
SEI awarded OSHA Susan Harwood training grant, will offer FREE solar-specific online training courses in April 2018
Last fall, Solar Energy International (SEI) was thrilled to receive news that we were awarded a Susan Harwood Training Grant through the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to develop a series of online solar-specific safety trainings. As the PV industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is so important to us here at SEI to ensure that solar workers have the tools and skills to work safely on the job site, so we can all return home soundly to our families at night, proud of the work we do. Safety has always been a critical component of SEI trainings, and this grant allows us to take it a step further by developing new curriculum on targeted solar safety topics and offering these classes for free in 2018.
SEI Instructor Chris Brooks and SEI Instructor And Curriculum Developer Karolina Fernandez traveled to Puerto Rico recently to work with an organization called Water Mission to address the ongoing electricity crisis in the region. Water Mission is a nonprofit engineering organization that designs, builds and implements safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas.
SEI Represented on the 2020 NFPA Code-Making Panel 4 for the National Electrical Code (NEC)
SEI is directly involved with the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC). Rebekah Hren, (Principal) and Brian Mehalic (Alternate) represent SEI on NFPA Code-Making Panel 4 for the NEC. At the First Draft meeting in January, they worked with other panel members to review and respond to hundreds of public inputs submitted for consideration as revisions to Articles 690, 691, 692, 694, 705, 710, and 712. Over 100 of the public inputs were developed by the PV Industry Forum, which SEI helped coordinate. Rebekah and Brian are dedicated to representing the voice of PV system installers in the continuing evolution of the NEC. The 2020 NEC First Draft Report is scheduled for release on July 6, 2018!